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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 Nismo FWD 6 spd. I also had a 2013 Juke FWD SV, and manuals back to my '70 Valiant. 3 on the tree. If I recall, that manual didn't recommend down shifting. I did it then and do it now. If I couldn't I wouldn't have gone crazy trying to find a manual. Am I doing any harm? If so, why?
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Downshifting on a 70's 3 speed is very different than a modern 5 or 6 speed. Back then, the gear range, materials, craftmanship, and technology was much different than today.

That said, I'll refer to something my dad used to say about mechanical anythings:
Every piece of equipment has a finite number of uses and you don't know what that number is. The less you use it, the longer it will last.

Technically, using anything mechanical is damaging it... It's just a matter of how much damage. Downshifting won't inherently cause major damage (unless you do it wrong), but your transmission WILL last longer if it is rolling in neutral vs rolling in gear.
 

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Your not doing harm if you rev match. Not blipping the throttle is going to put some serious load on the transmission. Money shift and over-rev on the downshift is another issue but again slow things down a bit and it shouldn't be an issue. I do it all the time but it really depends on the transmission and how close the gates are. Tough to drive a car without downshifting if you are driving it like it should.
 
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If your slowing down to turn or slowing down due to traffic and speeding up again how can you drive without downshifting.

When I first learned to drive MT I use to downshift all the time basically engine braking over time that is hard on the clutch. Now I only downshift like I said to turn and when traffic slows down other than that I cruise and use my brakes. Cheaper and easier to replace brakes than a clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your not doing harm if you rev match. Not blipping the throttle is going to put some serious load on the transmission. Money shift and over-rev on the downshift is another issue but again slow things down a bit and it shouldn't be an issue. I do it all the time but it really depends on the transmission and how close the gates are. Tough to drive a car without downshifting if you are driving it like it should.
I downshift at 2500 rpm, the same place where I upshift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If your slowing down to turn or slowing down due to traffic.and speeding up.again how can you drive without downshifting.

When I first learned to drive MT I use to downshift all the time basically engine braking over time that is hard on the clutch. Now I only downshift like I said to turn and when traffic slows down other than that I cruise and use my brakes. Cheaper and easier to replace brakes than a clutch.
I meant downshifting sequentially from 6. Engine braking (not much on a 4-cyl) as you say. Often skip a gear 5-3 as the revs aren't an issue.
 

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This.

If/when I drive manual in the future, I will downshift. Because I'm willing to "pay" for the fun-factor.
Yep. I use brakes to save the clutch. Coast in gear and use the brakes.
 

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I agree with all that is said. I learned to rev match and double clutch first. Then when I got the hang of that, I started to heal toe. Now thats just how I drive a stick. Heal to or rev match. If you do it right it's chill. If you get it wrong, it's not good. If you plan to drive mountain passes or any twisties, see if your comfortable learning the skill. If not just use the breaks and save the transmission. Engine braking puts a ton of stress on the thrust bearings on the motor. There will be stress and wear on your car by driving it. Choose where you want to stress it and be ready to repair or replace when the time comes.
 

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Been my experience the thrust wear is mostly due to initial clutch engagement with low engine oil pressure on startup. Much worse situation with an upgraded clutch. I had an engine walk the crankshaft and almost certainly it was the high pressure clutch that contributed to it. To avoid this guys would deactivate the clutch start switch so the cars could be started without the clutch pushed-in. Gotta sweat the details I suppose.

Heel-toe is tricky to learn depending on the brake/throttle pedal design. Really meant to keep the weight transfer stable during cornering. To keep it simple I'll just throw it in neutral, off the brakes and blip the throttle, then back on the brakes. In slow corners this is dummy proof. Double clutch I don't do much of but sometimes if the transmission is cold I'll pump the clutch twice quickly and this get's the synchros to work properly without grinding. The goal is to never grind the gears if you can help it as obvious as that sounds it really wrecks the dog-teeth on the gears.

Not sure if the Juke 6-spd has a clutch restrictor but on the EVO X this is what destroyed my clutch. Typically I'll remove these but I never got around to it and now I have a nice expensive clutch swap to look forward to. Factory seem to think they know better but these little devices really promote accelerated clutch wear at the expense of smooth clutch engagement.

Other aspect is correct clutch adjustment and high rpm clutch drag which is a bad sign the clutch isn't adjusted properly.

Another little tidbit is excessive engine idling. This typically will wear out a transmission much faster. The internal gears are disengaged but the input shaft is still spinning at engine rpm since the clutch is actually engaged to it. In particular the shift forks run on a sliding action and these will take a hit over time and then the gears will start popping-out. For a manual just get the car moving and warm it up by driving while going easy on the transmission with slow upshifts till it's all warmed up.

I have a clutch/transmission checklist from TRE which covers all the aspects of keeping a manual transmission optimal which I might post here if I can find it.

Point being there is a good list of things you can do to minimize: clutch, synchro, transmission wear with a bit of research.
 
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